A recent deal has created the largest permitted solar photovoltaic power development in the world, and will create a cool 650 construction jobs in the process. MidAmerican Solar, a subsidiary of MidAmerican Renewables, bought from SunPower the 579 MW Antelope Valley Solar Projects (AVSP), two co-located projects in Kern and Los Angeles Counties in California.
The 3,230-acre Antelope Valley Solar Projects will provide renewable energy to Southern California Edison (SCE) under two long-term power purchase contracts approved by the California Public Utilities Commission.
Construction work is scheduled to begin in first quarter 2013, with the plants expected to be complete by the end of 2015. SunPower will install its SunPower Oasis Power Plant solution, a fully integrated, modular solar technology that is engineered to rapidly deploy utility-scale solar projects while minimizing land use. Oasis uses high-efficiency SunPower solar panels mounted on SunPower T0 Trackers, which position the panels to track the sun during the day, increasing energy capture by up to 25 percent.
SunPower will also act as the the engineering, procurement and construction contractor and will operate and maintain the facility for several years.
“We are pleased to be working with SunPower on this project. MidAmerican Renewables, a subsidiary of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, has a total portfolio of more than 1,830 megawatts of owned assets, including wind, geothermal, solar and hydro assets,” said Bill Fehrman, president of MidAmerican Renewables.”
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates the project will offset more than 775,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, which is equivalent to removing almost three million cars from California’s highways over 20 years of the plant’s operation.
Besides Antelope Valley Solar Projects, MidAmerican Solar’s projects also include the 550 MW Topaz Solar Farms in San Luis Obispo County, California, and a 49 percent ownership interest in the 290-megawatt Agua Caliente solar project in Yuma County, Arizona.
SunPower has more than 1,000 MW of solar power plants operating worldwide, including the first 130 MW of the 250-megawatt California Valley Solar Ranch, which is under construction in San Luis Obispo County, California.